A device that minimises bedsores by automatically monitoring and turning bedridden patients; a portable, ultra-efficient microscope for the rapid detection of communicable diseases; and an affordable device to save the lives of people with heart failure are some of the new innovative health solutions that will be showcased to investors today at the Powerhouse Museum.
The event is the culmination of a new 20-week healthtech accelerator program Health10x, delivered by the UNSW Sydney’s Founders Program, in partnership with The George Institute for Global Health. Launched in May, Health10x is working with startup teams developing solutions for some of the world’s biggest health burdens, and its contribution has been recognised with a $295k grant from the government’s Incubator Support initiative, announced by Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews last week.
Principal Director of The George Institute, Professor Stephen MacMahon said the initiative was aiming to empower the brightest minds in medical research with disruptive entrepreneurship skills, to create successful commercial ventures that have global potential.
“Chronic and non-communicable diseases are leading causes of death and disability globally, and particularly in emerging markets and low-resource populations,” said Prof MacMahon. “Australia has a wealth of talent – we’ve seen game-changing medical innovations developed here and then become successful globally. Health10x is using tech innovations to find answers for some of the biggest health problems we face, and helping take those solutions to the people who need them most.”
Health10x harnesses UNSW Entrepreneurship’s successful suite of accelerator and incubator programs, and The George Institute’s expertise in clinical trials and public health research. Fifteen health startups – founded by staff, students or alumni of UNSW and The George – took part in the ten-week pre-accelerator program, with five teams progressing to a ten-week advanced accelerator that included targeted health and commercialisation modules, mentorship, and immersive visits to India and San Francisco (US).
The five Health10x teams will join six other startups participating in the 10x Accelerator program to pitch their innovative ideas and prototypes to an audience of over 250 researchers, engineers, investors, and key figures from Sydney’s startup ecosystem. investors:
- Attoquest - a novel ‘plug and play’ microscope that can accurately measure pathogens in minutes
- Beacohealth – an automatic patient-turning device that reduces and prevents pressure sores
- Bio-Sens Tech – a low-cost and pain-free saliva test for fast insulin detection
- CardioBionic – an affordable temporary device for patients with heart failure
- Evidentli - cloud software that improves clinical research data
Director of Entrepreneurship at UNSW, Dr Elizabeth Eastland said that the first of its kind partnership would connect entrepreneurial researchers and professionals to the industry mentorship and funding sources they need to navigate the critical early stages of startup and, through the Founders Program, provide the ongoing support they’ll need to scale into global companies.
“Through the Health10x partnership UNSW is able to make good on its commitment to ensuring that world-class research realises its full potential, for the benefit of communities in Australia and globally. With the expertise of The George Institute and the ongoing support of the startup ecosystem and investor community, Health 10x will make health solutions accessible, scalable and sustainable.”
The Health10x accelerator will continue in 2020, with the next round of health startups working on innovative and tech-based solutions to address the world’s biggest health burdens.
Any UNSW staff, students or alumni founders interested in scaling their start-up or exploring global opportunities can find more information at unsw.to/Founders10x. Read more about the Founders 10x or Health 10x Accelerator programs, offering 10 weeks intensive programs, six months incubation and exposure to a network of experts, mentors and investors. Applications for the January 2020 program open 30 October 2019.